Create a local, navigable copy of a website with HTTrack

In the past I have had to create a local copy of a website, not a simple FTP download of the site, but generate a local offline navigable copy , with all the files, images and references adjusted for navigation from localhost.

How to download a website to consult it offline?

Because? Downloading a site locally could serve a thousand purposes: browsing an archive offline, on vacation for example, or having a local backup copy of a site we are redoing, the cases can be the most disparate.

I have tested several software, both online and client side, and the best one I have found is http://www.httrack.com/ . The tool can be downloaded with an installer or in a “portable” version, useful for inserting into a USB key or in the cloud .

How to copy a website locally

HTTrack is a free and free software that allows you to download a website and make it navigable locally. The software allows you to download a World Wide Web site from the Internet to a local directory, recursively building all directories, creating HTML files, retrieving images and other files from the server to your computer.

HTTrack re-organizes the internal link structure of the original site. Just open a page of the downloaded site in your browser, and you can navigate it from link to link, as if you were looking at the online version. HTTrack can also update a site you downloaded previously, and resume interrupted downloads. The software is fully configurable, and has an integrated help system.

Copy websites locally with httrack

WinHTTrack is compatible with Windows 2000 / XP / Vista / Seven / 8/10 and Linux. Go to the download page .

To copy the site just follow 5 simple steps:

  • Step 1: Choose the project name and destination folder
  • Step 2: Enter the web address of the site to download
  • Step 3: You are ready to launch the scan
  • Step 4: Wait!
  • Step 5: Check the result

The software is executable both via the graphical interface and from the command line. Here you can find the complete guide in English .

How NOT to use Httrack

Don’t overload websites!

If you have a fast connection, or if you send too many requests at the same time, downloading a site could overload the web server.

  • don’t download websites that are too big, use filters
  • don’t use too many simultaneous connections
  • limit bandwidth usage
  • use connection limits
  • use size limits
  • use time limits
  • disable robots.txt file verification only if strictly necessary
  • try not to download during working hours
  • check the transfer rate
  • for large websites, ask the site’s webmaster first

Make sure the website can be copied

  • is it copyrighted?
  • Is it possible to copy it for private use only?
  • do not put the copies you have created online, unless you have permission to do so

Don’t overload the network

  • is your network connected via ISP dialup?
  • do you have limited bandwidth?
  • are you slowing down traffic to your colleagues?

Don’t steal private information

  • Don’t steal emails without consent
  • Do not download private information

What software do you use to copy websites locally? Leave a comment

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